Recent data compiled by GP Bullhound, the technology advisory and investment firm, showed that the 100 fastest growing technology companies in the North of England and Scotland generated £4.5bn in 2017, more than double the 2016 figure of £1.9bn.
GP Bullhound showcased the tech businesses leading the digital economy of the North at last night’s Northern Tech Awards in Edinburgh. The awards championed key players in the region’s digital sector, celebrating the successful entrepreneurial path of business founders and leaders.
Performance Horizon was awarded the ‘Overall Judges’ Award at the Northern Tech Awards, recognising the business’ key role in driving innovation both in the Northern region and on a global scale.
Performance Horizon is an online marketing technology provider, supporting brands in building successful partnerships and improving growth by harnessing data technology and artificial intelligence. Founded in Newcastle in 2010, it has over the years scaled to reach the international market, and now operates across four different continents.
Tech businesses whose success has led to their rapid growth were also rewarded, with In Touch Networks winning ‘Fastest Growing Company of the Year (with revenues under £10m)’ and Evolution Funding winning ‘Fastest Growing Larger Company of the Year (with revenues over £10m)’.
The award winners were selected by a panel of high-profile judges. Sherry Coutu CBE, Chair of Founders4Schools, Jacqui Ferguson, director of Wood Group, and Melinda Matthews, chief executive of the Edinburgh-based digital skills academy CodeClan, were part of this year’s new additions, sitting on the panel alongside longstanding judges such as David Rowan, Founding Editor of Wired UK.
Three of the five fastest growing technology companies in the North of England were e-commerce specialists, showing the depth of expertise in the region in online retail and sales. Northern businesses also proved their skills in delivering IT services: companies in the sector made up almost one third (30) of the region’s top 100 fastest growing businesses.
The awards also highlighted ongoing trends in the Northern tech sector, as the region continued to prove its worth in software development: 22 enterprise software companies were in this year’s top 100 ranking, an increase from 19 companies last year.
Manchester also stayed true to its reputation as a Northern technology hub: almost one third (29) of this year’s top 100 tech businesses are based in Manchester, five of which are in the first twenty. Leeds came close behind with thirteen businesses in the ranking having been born and bred in the city.
Hugh Campbell, Managing Partner of GP Bullhound, commented: “We have seen the Northern region’s technology sector grow extensively as local businesses are scaling to reach the global market. Companies such as Peak AI and Sykes are a testament to the potential of Northern businesses to become international tech giants – we expect to see many more local companies with great ideas grow to reach the global technology landscape.”
Melinda Matthews, CEO of CodeClan, commented: “At CodeClan, we support technology businesses by giving them access to resources they need to scale. Scotland has the potential to be a leader in the global digital economy – it was an honour to reward the entrepreneurs who are involved in making this happen.”
The Northern Tech Awards 2018 are presented by GP Bullhound as a not-for-profit event with the support and sponsorship of Barclays, Squire Patton Boggs, OBI Property, Scottish Equity Parners, Aquiline, Frazer John Recruitment, Mercia Technologies, Berenberg, Inflexion, Tech North, BGF, London Stock Exchange, Draw Code and Seven Hills.
The full list of Award winners and the final ranking of the top 100 companies are:
2018 Northern Tech Awards Winners:
The Region’s Top Northern Star from the competition run by Tech North: BigChange
Fastest Growing Company of the Year (with revenues under £10m): In Touch Networks
Fastest Growing Larger Company of the Year (with revenues over £10m): Evolution Funding
Judges’ Innovation Award: Peak AI
Judges’ Award for International Success: Purple
Judges’ Leadership Award: Sykes
Tech4Good Award: Virtual College
Judges’ Young Entrepreneur Award: Nicholas Mealey, Connex One
Judges’ Entrepreneur Award: Steve Oliver, MusicMagpie